|Watershed Association Initiative supports citizen engagement across the MCWD
Two new citizen-led lake associations formed in the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) in 2016, bringing the number of resident groups organized around lakes and streams in the District to an all-time high. There are now 30 documented lake and stream groups that have formed in the MCWD, which has been supporting citizen efforts to protect their local waters for more than ten years.
Resilient yards workshops
The newest members of MCWD’s Watershed Association Initiative (WAI) are the Friends of Lake Hiawatha in Minneapolis and the Long Lake Waters Association in Long Lake.
Friends of Lake Hiawatha formed, in part, to respond to concerns about trash flowing into the lake from local streets during rain events. Preventing stormwater runoff is a key factor in improving water quality and this group has already made great strides in raising awareness about this issue. Since its formation, a device has been installed to capture trash at the storm drain outlet to the lake and a new storm drain cleanup program is being developed in the surrounding neighborhoods.
The Long Lake Waters Association is a consortium of residents from the cities of Medina, Long Lake and Orono that formed to address water quality issues on a regional scale. They’re working to understand the relationship between the lake and the surrounding landscape and to develop effective strategies to reduce the flow of polluted stormwater into Long Lake. The group is in the midst of forming regional partnerships with the three cities and MCWD, and collectively this group is looking at how common carp are impacting the lake. It is exploring a study similar to the MCWD’s carp assessment in the Six Mile Chain of Lakes which will help them develop an effective management strategy.
Since 2006, MCWD has partnered with Minnesota Waters and most recently with the Freshwater Society to run the WAI, which engages and empowers residents to help the MCWD meet its water quality goals. In addition to getting new groups started, WAI helps existing groups increase the effectiveness of the work they do to care for their lake, stream wetland or pond.
The WAI provides a range of services to new and existing groups including education, training, networking and engagement opportunities. In addition, the WAI helps groups develop action and lake management plans that guide their work toward reaching achievable goals. For more information, visit minnehahacreek.org/wai.
In partnership with Metro Blooms, we are sponsoring a series of workshops on how to make your yard resilient to changing weather patterns in Minnesota, and to protect the health of nearby lakes and streams.
Participants will learn about the best techniques for a reilient yard and receive one-on-one design assistance from trained designers. The workshops are just $15 per household to attend.
Job Opening: Communications Coordinator
We are seeking applications for the full-time position of Communications Coordinator. The position plays a key role in MCWD’s efforts to increase awareness of the District and water quality issues and to build support for its collaborative approach.
The Communications Coordinator is responsible for writing articles, designing print and digital publications, managing website content and function, managing social media accounts, assisting with events among other duties. The successful candidate will possess strong written and oral communications skills for a variety of audiences and knowledge of web content management systems, desktop publishing software and social media tools. Ability to maintain a flexible attitude, be a self-starter, assist other employees as needed and develop effective working relationships with co-workers, consultants and others is preferred. Additional consideration will be given for project management and strategic planning experience.
Learn more and apply at www.minnehahacreek.org.
From the blog: Park Nicollet honored for its smart salt use
Longtime MCWD partner Park Nicollet Health Services was recently honored at the annual Road Salt symposium for the company's proactive work to reduce the use of road salt. Over-application of road salt is one of the major threats facing water quality in the Twin Cities -- the chloride is harmful to fish and wildlife and can impact drinking water. Worse yet, once the chloride is in the water, there is effectively no way to remove it.
Park Nicollet has worked diligently the past few years to reduce the use of salt at its 36 facilities across the metro. It has increased training for its snow removal professionals (including attending MCWD's workshops on road salt use), increased pre-treatment, invested in new equipment, and increased site monitoring.
Read more on our blog.
Upcoming MCWD meeting schedule
Splash-shot: Historical photos in honor of MCWD's 50th anniversary
- February 23 -- Planning and Policy Committee, 4:30 p.m., MCWD Offices
- February 23 -- Board of Managers Meeting, 6:45 p.m., MCWD Offices
- March 9 -- Planning and Policy Committee, 4:30 p.m., MCWD Offices
- March 9 -- Board of Managers Meeting, 6:45 p.m., MCWD Offices
Minnehaha Creek at Penn Avenue, 1880 (credit: Minnesota Historical Society). Follow us on Instagram @minnehahacreekwd for more shots from across the watershed.